"Arnie Zane and I were also very interested in getting out of the avant-garde ghetto. Haring had found a way by going into another ghetto...I really loved the fact that he was a tag artist, and that he could go in and out of that milieu. And I saw at least a feeling, if not exactly a one-to-one corollary, between what Arnie and I were trying to do and our critique of high and low, and Keith's modus operandi, which very much moved from the art gallery to the streets."
Bill T. Jones (2009 interview with Alanna Martinez)

A t the age of 24, Keith Haring collaborated with renowned dancer and choreographer, Bill T. Jones. Together they created the 1982 performance piece titled Long Distance. Jones danced to the rhythms and sounds of Haring’s brushstrokes as the artist painted the backdrop in real time for the audience. Following the success of Long Distance, the two collaborated again in 1984 on Secret Pastures at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The present example is a piece from the tent Haring designed and painted for the set to complement Bill T. Jones’ and Arnie Zane’s choreography with music by Peter Gordon. Untitled is a section of the tent placed center stage, which was moved around and rotated during the performance. Exploring themes of race, sexuality and the AIDS epidemic, Secret Pastures was celebrated for the powerful connection to the reality of 1980s life in New York. Haring’s schematically outlined human figures and the use of simple lines bring to mind tribal artworks, while echoing the dynamic choreography of Jones and Zane.

Arnie Zane and Bill T. Jones in their production of Secret Pastures during BAM Next Wave Festival with set design by Keith Haring, 1984. Photography © Tom Caravaglia Art © 2020 The Keith Haring Foundation.